Bashaw Council: Operating budget rescinded, revised version approved

Bashaw town council rescinded its 2024 operating budget and replaced it with a revised version. The resolutions were passed at the May 22 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller provided councillors with a proposed revised 2024 operating budget, noting there were a few issues with the one approved earlier this year.

Her memo noted that $59,000 in water leak repairs should have been listed as an expense, funds for the repairs are included as reserves transferred to operating and a $90,000 Small Communities Opportunity Fund grant has been received by the town.

“The impact, it increased the revenue and expenses, does not impact the projected increase,” stated Fuller’s report to council. “Municipal taxes and the 3.43 per cent increase remain the same.”

Councillors briefly chatted about the proposed changes before passing two resolutions: to rescind the existing 2024 operating budget, then approving the revised version.

Capital budget
Councillors approved the 2024 capital budget with $78,443 from the Canada Community Building Fund and $256,500 from the unrestricted cash surplus, after hearing a presentation from Fuller and Public Works Foreman Patrick Taylor.

The pair explained some of the benefits and challenges the Town of Bashaw faced in developing its 2024 capital budget.

“The water leak repair expenses, there is a portion that will be funded through the Canada Community Building fund,” stated the agenda memo.

“The tandem truck was sent for repairs and they could not find replacement parts for the unit,” stated the memo. “They will be putting the unit together; however, it will not pass certification. We anticipate taking it to the auction.

“The street sweeper is also failing. We have arranged for a contractor to come in and complete the street sweeping. The unit will be reassembled and sold at auction.

“The mapping software will be used to input water valves, etc. into the system. It will have GPS location; this will help staff to locate them in winter.

“The sewer line replacements are in an area that had trees in the boulevard. The trees have been removed; however, the lines require replacement.”

During discussion Fuller confirmed the mechanics couldn’t find any parts to repair the tandem and without repair the vehicle can’t pass inspection. The vehicle dates to the 1990’s and parts for those years are in short supply she stated.

Taylor added the search is on for a replacement and he’s looking for something that is easier to maintain. It’s estimated a replacement vehicle will be in the $70,000 to $80,000 range.

As for the street sweeper, the CAO noted that vehicle needed a u-joint replacement in addition to water pump problems, essentially rendering the vehicle unusable.

Taylor pointed out street sweeping services can be contracted from other sources, including other municipalities. Contractors are apparently also available out of Red Deer.

He noted the Town of Bashaw sweeps streets twice and a year while Fuller estimated upkeep for the street sweeper was about $8,000 per year.

During discussion Coun. Kyle McIntosh asked if the street sweeper will be replaced; staff responded they feel the town would be better off contracting the service and getting rid of the vehicle.

Coun. Cindy Orom stated that approach would also make that $8,000 available for other projects.

Taylor added the town will contract street sweeping on a trial basis, and noted the old street sweeper wasn’t doing a very good job anyway.

Councillors also discussed the infrastructure and paving work planned for 51 Street; McIntosh stated that some members of the public don’t feel the Town of Bashaw does enough to maintain its roads.

Staff responded hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent per year on roads, with a rather large pothole filling program to run this year.

Coun. Bryan Gust voiced one concern with the capital budget: the purchase of a side-by-side vehicle. He stated he felt a pick-up truck could handle any such work and do it as good or better.

Councillors unanimously approved the 2024 capital budget.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review


About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.